Trauma – A deeply depressing or disturbing experience
Dealing with trauma is a job on its own. For black and brown folk especially in the inner cities, trauma is almost a norm. And it comes in a variety of forms. We are all subjected to some type of traumatic experience at a young age. I’m speaking generally If you didn’t experience something traumatic then kudos to you. However, for inner-city youth, Trauma is like breathing. So many of us experience it so frequently we eventually become numb to it.
We spend a great majority of our time in our youth accumulating trauma and not knowing how to deal with it. A lot of us are told to “toughen up” and “it’s a phase”. Never attempt to face the inner workings of the damage that had constructed us. How do we deal though? That is the question. Especially when we’re around others that don’t know how to deal. The answer, there are plenty of ways to deal with our traumas. And it’s time we start seeking out.
I’m no expert, but I am a man who is currently reconstructing himself by dealing with his past traumas. At this moment I’d love to share a few means in order to deal with my traumas. hopefully, it can work for you too.
- Talk about it
Express it. Put the scenario in front of you and talk about it. You can talk to yourself, in a journal, your friends or even a stranger. But talking about it can help you talk through it and learn how to master it. Talking about what troubles you can be the first step into facing the long-fought war within.
This is a tough one especially for our communities because of a number of factors. First, it isn’t easy to find therapists that look like us. a common gripe with black and brown folks is that expressing our traumas can be difficult for those that cannot empathize with us. I myself have struggled with this concept and it is the main problem I have when it comes to seeking therapy. The second problem is affording therapy. I’ve heard a lot of black and brown folk say they cannot afford therapy. Which is a struggle in its own right? These factors ultimately deter us from seeking therapy, however, there are ways around it. There are people that look like us in this field. they are hard to find, yet they are existent. And, depending on your health insurance, there can be ways to afford it. Schools can provide therapists as well, it is difficult but possible. Therapy can help insurmountably, especially with consistency.
3. Remove yourself from the place that harmed you
This one is tough, and it may not pertain to everyone. This can be leaving a toxic relationship. Or remove yourself from a parent that raised you improperly. for teens and youth, this won’t be possible immediately as far as leaving a parent’s home. However, any way you can hide away and find pockets of joy is good. Leaving a city, or location, leaving a school, all of these things factor in. Leaving a place that harmed you can be a key to dealing with your trauma.
This is paramount. take time and find a quiet place. close your eyes. find a comfortable sitting position and breathe in and out. Imagine a happy zone for yourself, picture yourself within that place. let it come to life, hear the sounds, see the life around you in the darkness. What it illuminates you in ways you couldn’t imagine. Meditation can help loosen you up and release the stiffness your body is holding onto. take time to meditate and recoup.
We forget this basic technique constantly. This is essential for life, and we overlook it often. It’s so innate, and constant we forget we’re doing it! Breathe, take time out of your day to breathe in and out heavily, remember you exist. Cherish that moment. you are breathing. you are alive! You have a purpose in your breathing. We take this basic human function for granted so often. Remember to breathe. Remember to understand that you are breathing.
6. Work on creating healthy habits
create some music, eat healthy food. Write, draw, paint. Play sports, go outside, learn something, be it from video games or in school. Create a healthy habit, stick to it. This is a good trait to have especially in our adolescents. My brother who is 18 now had lost about 20 pounds in a few months simply by changing his eating habits. He was so proud of himself, He got back in shape, slimmed down and appreciated his change. He grew as a person, the people he hung out with changed, he focused on school and excelled. All of this happened because he picked up a healthy habit and stuck with it. This will take time, It will seem like it’s hopeless. however, it is worth it. develop a habit that is healthy, work on it, set goals for it and watch the results.
7. Accept and validate your feelings
Last, but surely not least. Accept yourself. Tell yourself that you have worth in this world. This is the hardest for me personally. Being someone that lacked worth and it screwed with my happiness. However, validating to yourself that you have worth is important. Telling yourself you exist and you have a purpose every day is important. This is a tall task especially for younger generations when everything is oversaturated and there at times seems like no way out. However, It is important to teach yourself about your value and you’re worth. These attributes can go a long way.
There is no easy way to deal with trauma. We all face our trauma at different times in life and in different ways. At some point, we have to face it. We don’t have to face it all at once, but we will have to face it. That war is a battle we can all win. For the youth, it is important that we assist them in facing their traumas early and by healthy means. Understand what it is that traumatizes you, respect that this is doing that to you. Then structure a plane to face it. One day at a time, one moment at a time. We will break generational curses and trauma.